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Tumnus

University of Roehampon, 2010

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Orphaned Karou lives in two different worlds. A seventeen-year-old art student in Prague with vibrant blue hair and endless talent in our world, and teeth gatherer to the chimera Brimstone in Elsewhere. Two lives under one identity that Karou struggles to place. Connected by magical doorways between here and there, her life is full of secrets.

But a force unknown to Karou is marking the doors, and as she tries to protect her other life, she’s suddenly cut off. Stuck in one world and unable to return to the magical family that has raised her, she tries to find a way back to Elsewhere. Along the way Karou discovers that the power behind the breaking of the pathways is more serious than she guessed. Unable to place herself in either atmosphere, she’ll have to decide where she truly wants to be.

All I can say is that Taylor knows what she is doing. For a proper crossover novel that counts as YA and adult fiction, look no further! A truly refreshing read, this first in the series will leave you aching for more as soon as you hit the final page. (Good thing there’s an excerpt from the upcoming second book!) Can I also say that I loved that this book was set in Prague? Generally the YA fiction I’ve reviewed this year has been set in either the USA or the UK and it’s such a pleasant change to be immersed in a different setting.

There’s a lot to this book and I don’t want to give away any spoilers. It’s got everything for a sink into your teeth kind of read: romance, supernatural creatures, a bit of magic and wonder. Taylor masters the ability to keep the reader guessing with the questions surrounding Karou. I can’t wait to read what happens in the second book.

Hodder & Stoughton provided this book for an honest review. Many thanks to the marketing and publicity team!

The Blue Door by Christa Kinde

Pricilla ‘Prissie’ Pomeroy likes the color pink, lives in a small town, is the only daughter with five brothers and oh yeah she can see angels. Initially amazed, she struggles with accepting her new reality. When the angels show her their world behind the blue door Prissie accepts that God has destined a higher purpose for her. Mustering her strength in God, she continues her life but is always in the presence of angels. Where there are angels there must also be demons and the realm of the heavenly is in danger. This is only the beginning for Prissie, as trouble lurks at every step and she is the key the angels must protect.

A debut for author Christa Kinde, The Blue Door is an interesting read. I gave the book three and half hearts because on one hand, for the Christian market Kinde hit it out of the park. On the other hand I don’t think the story would translate well for the traditional market. I applaud Zondervan for branching out to the Young Adult genre and I hope the series continues. The book is fantastically written for its audience. The Christian aspects are woven wonderfully together within the narrative that even someone unfamiliar to the faith will still get the meaning of the story.

However, there were some issues. I felt that Prissie came off as younger than she was and for nearly three hundred pages it’s mainly setting and character development with a hint of conflict behind the scenes. Perhaps this is due to it being Christian fiction and as the first book of the series I can understand the importance of covering the strength of Prissie’s faith. I just kept waiting for a big event to happen and unfortunately Kinde has saved it for the second book. I’m still interested to learn more about Prissie’s journey and will keep an eye out for the next installment. I think Kinde is a brilliant writer for the Christian genre and it’s a great choice for young adults strong in their faith. I also recommend it for readers that want to stretch their reading by trying something different. Parents can rest easy with this book in their children’s hands and it was refreshing to read an age appropriate book!

This book was an ARC supplied by Zondervan from Net Galley for an honest review. Thank you so much!

A Wondering

(Click on the image to enlarge)

I stole the idea from my very good friend over at Flaneur in the City. I  happen to like doors, and when I was out searching for Eggs, I came across this interesting door knocker. Slightly creepy, yet fascinating at the same time. I love Stephen King and how he’s able to surprise me, good or bad, with his work. Here’s to going a wondering!